Staffan Liljas is a Swedish bass who took his masters degree from the University College of Opera in Stockholm in 2012. In 2023, he has been Il Re in Verdi’s Aida at Wermland Opera, Pappan in Brommare’s children’s opera Where’s the sandwich? at The Royal Opera in Stockholm and Count Ceprano in Verdi’s Rigoletto at Opera på Skäret. In the spring 2022 he sang Polypheme in Handel’s Acis & Galatea at Radio France under Leonardo García Alarcón and in the fall he was Alcindoro and Benoit in Puccini’s La Boheme at Malmö Opera. In the fall of 2021, he was the quantum supercomputer Teus in Eric Gedeon’s newly written musical Djur som hatar människor at Uppsala City Theatre. In the summer of 2019 he was Polyphemus in Händel’s Acis & Galatea at Confidencen in Stockholm. This superlatively reviewed performance was broadcast by Swedish National Television. In the spring the same year, he performed Sarastro in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte with Labopéra D’Alsace.
In the summer of 2018, he performed Davenaut in Marschner’s Der Vampyr at Läckö Slottsopera and in the summer of 2017, he performed a critically lauded Sharpless in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly at Skånska Operan. In 2017 he was also Ben in a production of Menotti’s The Telephone in Stockholm. In 2016, he was part of two acclaimed opera performances in Sweden, first as the Badger in Janacek’s The cunning little vixen at Norrlandsoperan, and then in Ligetiland at Folkoperan in Stockholm – a performance with music by György Ligeti, where he performed Ligeti’s Aventures together with KammarensembleN. In 2015, he was Don Pedro in Läckö Slottsoperas highly praised production of Berlioz’ Beatrice et Benedict.
In College, Staffan has performed Banco in Verdi’s Macbeth and Gianni Schicchi in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi. He has performed as part of the Young Artist Programme at Drottningholms Slottsteater in 2011 as Don Alfonso in Mozart’s Così fan Tutte and in 2012 as Ercole and Oreste in Cavalli’s Il Giasone.
Staffan is also a very appreciated soloist in concerts. In the spring of 2023 he performed J. S. Bach’s three cantatas for solo bass at the concert hall Musikaliska in Stockholm as a part of the series Early Music Sweden, a concert which was broadcast live on radio in Sweden and Europe. In the fall of 2022 he sang Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with the Norrlandoperan Symphony Orchestra. In 2020, he was the bass soloist in Monteverdi’s Vespro dellla beata vergine at Stockholm Concert Hall with the Eric Ericson Chamber Choir. In the fall of 2019 he sang Handel’s Messiah with the Odense Symphony Orchestra, and in 2018 he performed the bass solo in Vivier’s Journal at Stockholm Concert Hall. Apart from this, he is constantly active with the large oratorios in various churches, and he has a number of active solo programs.
Staffan has wide-ranging musical interests, and gladly performs the big classics, but he has a particular love for the early masters such as Purcell, Händel and Bach, and is the chairman of the Swedish Early Music Society. Staffan is an enthusiastic interpreter of contemporary music, and loves the challenge of being the first to perform a role, and has premiered four operas and one oratorio to date.
During the spring of 2022, Staffan’s first solo album Baroque BASS was released on Footprint Records to critical acclaim. The album focuses on motets and anthems for bass and basso continuo from Italy and England in the 1600s.